The first of two matches today takes us to The Vitality Stadium as Bournemouth play host to Liverpool. Eddie Howe’s men know that a win for them would see them back in the top half of the table while for Liverpool a win is required to keep pace with league leaders Chelsea.
Last week Bournemouth went up against a title chasing outfit in the shape of Arsenal and matched them for 45 minutes but unfortunately for them Arsenal’s extra quality finally shone through to see them gain all three points in front of their own fans.
There would have been positives to take from that defeat but one of the main negatives would have been the manner in which they conceded Arsenal’s opener. Once again playing out from the back caught them out and once again Adam Federici was made to look stupid by Alexis Sanchez.
Defensive blips aside Bournemouth have look decent in this first third of the season but now that they are in their second season of top flight action they need to cut out those lapses of concentration as more often than they not they will be punished
And if they slip up today Liverpool will be ready to take full advantage and they will need to if they are to close the gap on league leaders Chelsea. Antonio Conte’s side have thrown down a marker after their impressive win over Manchester City yesterday and it could now be up to Liverpool to hunt them down.
Last weekend saw them eventually edge past a spirited Sunderland side with the Reds running out 2-0 winners thanks to late goals from Divock Origi and James Milner. That win did come at a cost though as Philippe Coutinho has been ruled out with an injury until next month.
Jurgen Klopp side after the game that it was the most defensive side that he had ever faced. I don’t think the comment was tinged with too much criticism but it did highlight the task that Liverpool had to overcome last Saturday on their way to victory.
There was an obvious sense of relief when Origi found the net for Liverpool’s opener and it was the same feeling on Tuesday when the Belgian international finally broke the deadlock in their EFL Cup Quarter Final encounter against Championship side Leeds.
That game also ended in a 2-0 win for Liverpool but the man who would steal all the headlines that night would be none other than 17 year old Ben Woodburn. The Welsh youngster only made his debut in the aforementioned win over Sunderland and now he is the clubs youngest ever goalscorer.
After his goals in the last week there is ever chance that Origi could start this afternoon but I think Woodburn will managed with kid gloves for the forseeable future but do not rule out a place on the bench for the teenager who could possibly be in a tug of war between Wales and England in regards to his international future.
It may not be a tug of war on the South Coast this lunchtime but Bournemouth are certainly not going to make life easy for Liverpool. That said I think Liverpool will be able to come away from their trip to the seaside with maximum points. An away win for me and Liverpool cut the gap at the top to just 1 point.